Thursday 25th May
A quiet day. I got up around 7:30. showered, and went down for breakfast – A magnificent array of cold sliced meats and cheeses, scrambled and fried eggs; bacon, three different tpes of sausage, churros – no muesli – in fact cereals were quite light on; cocoa pops or cornflakes. Bread rolls, toast, several types of cake, and mini croissants, and those yummy little pastries with chocolate fillng.
The Olimar advertises itself as an aparthotel; it has over a thousand rooms (and a basic room comprises two – a lounge/dining/kitchen room, and a bedroom with ensuite), and also doesn’t do just rooms; your choices are half board, or full board. I’m on half board – breakfast and dinner, as a) I’m not sure I can eat three big meals a day, and b) I’m not sure I’ll be here for lunch – who knows what I’ll find in town. Anyway – people like to get value, so food was disappearing at an alarming rate; third and fourth helpings seem to be the go. I settled for a bowl of cornflakes, two glasses of OJ, and two chocolate pastries, with a coffee.
Then to reception. My knee is crook as, so I’ve decided to stay till Sunday – but there’s no room here. Every single room has been booked for Friday and Saturday. It’s a sunny weekend, the receptionist told me; Barcelona is an hour away by train, Valencia not much more, and Spain likes weekends at the Mediterranean. Can’t say I blame them, either; the weather is fantastic, the sea appealing, and these little coastal towns do the tourism bit really well. So – back to my room, fire up booking,com, and did a search. This area is at 90% capacity – after some while I found a room in a hotel about 5 minutes walk away. I’ve booked in for Friday and Saturday nights. it’s the Hotel Vila Mar – looks OK. The other options are a couple of 4 star places – out of my price league except in emergencies – by choice; I can afford them, but it’s such a waste of money for a bed, when I could be spending it on a better glass of red, or meal 🙂
Rosalie and Emily rang – they’re down in Tomakin, taking firewood down – the old gum tree has seasoned well, and we’ll burn it in the woodstove, and then they off to see mum/lala in Dalmeny on Saturday. It’s great to chat – the video failed a couple of times, so it finished up voice only, but we’re much happier as a family for the contact. Accommodation sorted, family and me reassured, I went for a walk – a gentle one; I’m resting the knee.
Found a chemist, stocked up on paracetemol, deoderant and some stuff for my foot, which has dry, flaky skin – too many showers in bathrooms that, while cleaned often, still harbor nasties – I do wear thongs, but… Washed jocks and socks and bike gloves, hung them out on the balconey, and down to the old harbour, through the town. Which doesn’t do signage well; street names are a lottery – often not there, and then they appear in random, obscure places. I guess the locals know their way around, and most visitors do what I did; wander randomly.
There is a 9 km stretch of promenade, and, apart from a couple of small harbours, it’s a beach. Amazing. Even at 11:00 am it was packed for miles – sunbeds, umbrellas, beach footy and volleyball – no beach cricket though – and endless rows of people sucking up sunlight like it was going to disappear tomorrow. So much pink flesh among the tourists – the locals are all varying shades of mahogany. Bars and cafes line the prom – all doing respectable trade.
I bought a couple of litres of OJ, and went back to my room; I’ve spent the day dozing, sitting on the balconey reading, and watching the Giro d’Italia.
I’ve also checked alternative routes, as contingencies. I’ll probably head down towards Valencia, then strike North East towards Zaragoza and then North onto Bilbao, assuming my knee improves a bit – if it improves a lot, I’ll check once at Valencia – if it doesn’t improve, I’ll catch a train North from Valencia; but you know plans – they only last until the wheels start to turn.
I have a couple more days here; on Saturday I’ll take the bike for a agentle spin along the promenade, and see how it feels. Touch wood – the walk was relatively painless.
See you down the road,